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This is not the first contempt proceeding initiated against Bhushan. AG Venugopal had filed a contempt plea against Bhushan for a 2019 tweet on the case challenging the appointment of Nageshwar Rao as interim CBI Chief.
A three-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra, BR Gavai and Krishna Murari will hear a suo motu contempt of court case against Advocate Prashant Bhushan and Twitter India tomorrow, July 22.
Though the case to be heard on July 22 is a suo motu case taken up by the top court, a Guna (Madhya Pradesh) based advocate, Mahek Maheshwari had filed a petition against Bhushan and Twitter India on July 2 seeking contempt action against both for a tweet by the senior advocate on the Chief Justice of India riding a bike in Nagpur.
The tweet highlighted by Maheshwari seeking contempt charges was a June 27, 2020, one where the senior advocate had stated that "CJI rides a 50 Lakh motorcycle belonging to a BJP leader at Raj Bhavan Nagpur, without a mask or helmet, at a time when he keeps the SC in Lockdown mode denying citizens their fundamental right to access Justice!"
The petition states that the tweet is of "serious nature" putting "a big question not he sovereign functions of the CJI and their abiding nature to the Constitution of India."
reads the plea by Maheshwari
Though the exact cause of the contempt proceeding is not yet known, one of the last tweets by Advocate Bhushan to have generated a lot of controversy was the one on June 27, 2020, where he had stated that "When historians in future look back at the last 6 years to see how democracy has been destroyed in India even without a formal Emergency, they will particularly mark the role of the Supreme Court in this destruction, & more particularly the role of the last 4 CJIs."
This is not the first contempt proceeding initiated against Prashant Bhushan.
In March 2019, Bhushan had admitted in the Supreme Court to a "genuine mistake" in tweeting that the government appeared to have misled the top Court and had perhaps submitted fabricated minutes of the high-powered selection panel meeting for the appointment of M Nageswara Rao as the interim CBI chief.